Saturday, 4 June 2011

Government child sexualisation curbs should be extended to schools says parents' group

Safe At School, a campaign by SPUC representing concerned parents, has responded to the expected recommendations of a government-commissioned review by Sir Reg Bailey of the Mothers' Union. The recommendations are expected to include curbs on sexually-explicit material on television, in advertising and via the internet. Safe at School is among a number of groups addressing a rally against child abuse in London's Trafalgar Square today.

Paul Tully of Safe At School told the media earlier today:
"We welcome Sir Reg's expected recommendations which (we understand) call for strengthening the role of parents to protect their children from sexually explicit material. Many parents are deeply worried, not only by child sexualisation via popular culture, but also by the pornographic and value-lite sex education materials being used in many schools.

"A prime example of such inappropriate material is the 'Living and Growing' DVD series used in many primary schools, which gives instructions about sexual intercourse and promotes masturbation. Any parent concerned by the raunchy dance routines on TV before the watershed would be appalled if they knew what children seeing 'Living and Growing' get in the school classroom.

"Explicit sex education in schools, supported by abortion providers, is priming even seven-to-11 year-olds for under-age sexual activity. The results are high rates of teenage pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections and abortions. And the government's official policy is to turn a blind eye to most instances of illegal under-age sex, contrary to the recommendations of the 2004 Bichard report into the Soham murders. If the government is serious about protecting children from sexualisation and bad sexual health outcomes, it must address both the widespread sexualisation of culture, and the official sanctioning of illegal under-age sex."
A proposal by Chris Bryant MP that official guidance no longer need require sex education to be age-appropriate is an example of how the agressive sexual health lobby would lay children open to further exploitation.

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Friday, 3 June 2011

Don't allow scouting to be dishonoured

As I mentioned at some length last month, the Scouting Association has introduced a “sex and relationships education” programme which promotes contraception and the youth abortion referral service, Brook.

The programme is called My body, My choice.

A number of visitors to my blog asked me to provide a summary of the detailed critique of the programme I published. Please find such a summary below.

And please encourage anyone you know who is involved in the Scouting Association to make their objections to this programme felt. The Association has defended the programme but say that the use of it is not compulsory. Nevertheless, it clearly will be used, and sends out very strong signals about how Scout leaders are expected to deal with issues of sex, sexuality and relationships.

(For information – the Scouting Association is the main scouting body in England, but other groups such as the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association and the British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association also exist.)

Parents may wish to withdraw their children from Scouting Association troops, and would be well-advised to do so. However, the Association is not likely to reconsider its policy unless it receives protests from Scout Troop leaders. (Most scout troops have waiting-lists for children to join, but cannot take them on because of a shortage of leaders.) Ask the Troop leaders of your local Scouts if they share our objections to My Body, My Choice and if so, ask them to demand that the Association drops the programme and apologises.

If you know of non-internet users who would like a printed copy of the full critique I published last month - let me know and I will send you copies to pass on to them.
The Scout Association has a long and respected history. Founder of the Scouts, General Baden-Powell (pictured above), saw in Scouting a way to encourage young people to develop into mature adults, and when it came to sexual behaviour, to act with due respect for the power of sexual instincts and to honour their proper role. He would no doubt have recognised that an authentic sexual ethic was comprehensible on the grounds of natural reason and therefore was understandable and accessible to those of any faith and none. Baden-Powell was from a different time, but the essential truths about human sexuality are timeless.

One would have expected that when the Scout Association ventured into new territory to provide a programme on sexual health it would have done so in a way that was consistent with its ethos. However, what has resulted would make Baden-Powell turn in his grave. It should also make anyone committed to encouraging sound ethics on sexuality for developing hearts and minds deeply worried.

The Scout Association has recently disseminated a programme entitled My Body, My Choice: Promoting Good Sexual Health Within Scouting. Elements of the programme include a handout, leader’s notes, website content, and links to certain agencies like Brook, the Family Planning Association (FPA), the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Marie Stopes Clinics, and Catholics for a Free Choice.

The overall ethos of the programme is not only highly individualistic but attempts to promote a ‘value-free’ approach, even though any attempt to do so merely promotes different values.

The handout, a central element of the programme and what will primarily end up in a scout’s hands, blithely states “you might be surprised to know that about 70% of young people wait until they are 16 or over before they have sex.” No mention is made of the illegality of sexual relations with a child under 16. Nor does the handout mention abstinence or the role of sexuality in marriage and family. There is lip service to relationships, but without any content. And that a central role for sex is to produce offspring hardly rates a mention.

Into the moral vacuum steps the agency Brook, heavily promoted with no less than seven mentions in the one page handout. Scouts encouraged to go to Brook’s website will find values that promote contraception with an emphasis on condoms as the answer to pregnancy risk and sexually transmitted diseases. It is hardly surprising that the My Body, My Choice programme thereby encourages condoms given that the condom-marketing company Durex is a sponsor and stands to gain financially from such promotion. Scouts visiting the Brook website will also learn that masturbation is normal and not harmful, watching pornography is ‘natural’, and that anal sex can be enjoyable.

Scouts encouraged to visit other sexual health sites promoted by the programme will receive advice on the provision of abortion from agencies vociferous in their call for the removal of any legal restraint on abortion. There is not one link to any group upholding the value of abstinence, the importance of marriage, the wrongfulness of abortion or emergency contraception, or indeed to any group which might provide guidance on traditional sexual ethics.

The leader’s document encourages leaders to provide information about local sexual health services, or even to arrange a visit, thereby placing scouts in even more direct contact with agencies which promote what is antithetical to traditional sexual morality. Under certain circumstances, leaders are told they may provide contraception without parents’ knowledge or consent. Leaders are told not to “project [their] personal beliefs onto the young people”, and in a programme of this nature, such a restriction is likely to only affect those who operate from a traditional position on sexual morality, for they are the ones who will diverge from the overall ethos of the programme.

The programme does address sexuality and religious belief, and in a section on Catholicism, only mentions contraception and abortion, failing to deal with the Church’s teaching on marriage, pre-marital sex, homosexuality and many other relevant matters. It is some consolation that the Scout Association is making available the Catholic Church’s publication Cherishing Human Sexuality, even though any influence it might have is seriously undermined by the overall tenor of the programme.

The programme has been given a warm endorsement by Bishop Moth of Britain’s military diocese. In doing so an opportunity has been missed. Bishop Moth missed the chance to expose a programme which perpetuates an ideology about sexuality that is deeply flawed and has plunged our community into the mess on sexual health it now suffers. More importantly an opportunity has been missed to promote an understanding of sexuality to young people which is grounded in an authentic vision of the human person, and in the end, one which is genuinely life-giving. The opportunity to expose the programme and provide that vision remains open.
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Thursday, 2 June 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 2 June

SPUC's sponsored walkers
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Radical social engineering is being pushed at the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Last week Pat Buckley represented SPUC at the World Health Assembly at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Two resolutions of most concern to SPUC were on HIV and on youth. Both resolutions reflect the radical social engineering which the anti-life and anti-family lobby is seeking to impose upon the world via the international system. The aim of this engineering is not just permission for the unlimited practice of abortion, contraception and homosexuality*, but also the creation of an international legal framework in which even criticism of such practices will be prohibited. Pat's work for SPUC in conjunction with other pro-life/pro-family groups was able to help blunt somewhat the extreme nature of the resolution on youth; though sadly this good result was not repeated regarding the resolution on HIV. These resolutions will now be the basis of WHO's contribution to high-level UN conferences over the summer. We must pray that Pat, Peter Smith and SPUC's partners lobbying at the international institutions will be strengthened to blunt further these attacks upon life and family.

Below are some very helpful insights by our colleagues at Family Watch International, in the context of the HIV resolution:
"[N]ote that 'gender equality' as defined by sexual rights activists does not just mean equality between men and women it also means equal rights for heterosexuals, transgenders, lesbians, bisexuals, male, homosexuals, cross dressers, etc.

[T]ransgenders, prostitutes (using the euphemism of 'sex workers'), and homosexuals -calling themselves 'sexual minorities' and/or 'vulnerable groups' or 'key populations' - [have] demanded that their sexually promiscuous lifestyles be not only accepted but also respected and promoted by laws and programs and with UN funding. They demanded that funds addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic be prioritized to support their advocacy groups.

It is a travesty that groups that engage in the highest risk sexual behaviors for HIV have managed to convince many to call for a 'human rights' approach to HIV/AIDS prevention which in reality is an aggressive campaign to destigmatize these risky behaviors under the guise of HIV prevention.

The 'International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights' which is supported by and created by UNAIDS and other UN agencies actually calls for the legalization of same–sex marriage, prostitution, and penalties for people that criticize the homosexual lifestyle and also calls for graphic sexuality education for children without parental consent all under the guise of HIV/AIDS prevention.

[T]here is no 'human right' to engage in risky sexual behavior that endangers sexual partners, yet sexual rights activists have managed to exploit the AIDS pandemic to demand such fictitious rights and they are gaining more and more support for this so-called 'human rights' approach to AIDS.

If we are to save more lives and prevent the indoctrination of future generations through corrupted 'human rights education and learning' and 'comprehensive sexuality education' that teaches youth they have a right to 'sexual pleasure' and to express different 'sexual identities' among other things, especially in areas with high HIV prevalence rates, we must push back against this agenda.

Fortunately there is plenty of good science and research on our side, the problem is most people are unaware that the evidence shows that the sexual rights approach to HIV/AIDS actually spreads AIDS rather than curbs it."
* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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Patients' charter poses euthanasia danger

The charter (source: Daily Mail)
Patients First Network (PFN), an initiative of SPUC Pro-Life, has warned that a proposed charter for terminally-ill patients poses the danger of euthanasia. PFN was responding to reports today of the charter's launch by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Paul Tully of Patients First Network told the media earlier this morning:
"This move is the latest in an increasing push to undermine the lives of elderly and incapacitated people. The Patients First Network has witnessed an increasing pattern of disregard for the right to life of those who are not necessarily dying, but whose capacity to act and communicate independently is limited. Since the passage of the Mental Capacity Act in 2005, which first gave statutory sanction to euthanasia by neglect, regard for the equal right to life of people who have lost their decision-making capacity has taken a downturn.

"Although the legal mechansims in the Mental Capacity Act are not directly used in most cases, it is now commonplace for food and fluids to be withdrawn from patients who need assisted nutrition, in order to kill them. The patients are sedated and cannot complain, and they usually die before relatives or friends realise what is happening.

"Euthanasia enthusiasts have also waged a campaign to promote assisted suicide in order to gain public and political support for killing incapacitated people."
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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

David Norris, would-be Irish presidential candidate, is no friend of the unborn or the family

I note that David Norris, the Irish senator who is seeking to be nominated as a candidate for the Irish presidency, is in the news today, regarding a controversial interview he gave in 2002, in part about under-age sexual activity and incest. Pat Buckley, SPUC's man in Ireland, has the text of the interview on his well-read blog.

I also note Senator Norris' extraordinarily flippant comments in 2009 promoting destructive embryo research:
“Nobody takes an embryo to the zoo or the cinema or the church. Let’s be real about this.”
It is therefore clear to me that, based on his views on the unborn, Senator Norris has no place leading Ireland, a civilised, Christian and pro-life nation.

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SPUC recruits Anthony McCarthy, bioethics heavyweight, to help youth confront the culture of death

I'm delighted to announce that SPUC has appointed Anthony McCarthy as its Education and Publications Manager, effective from 1 July 2011.

He will oversee SPUC’s educational work at home and abroad, be responsible for SPUC’s educational publications and the SPUC website. He has also been given the responsibility of managing, directing and developing SPUC’s outreach to secondary schools, universities and colleges and to young people in general across the country. Given his background in research, bioethics and public relations, SPUC believes he is the ideal candidate to represent the organisation publicly and to write about bioethical and pro-life issues on behalf of SPUC for a range of publications.

Anthony was previously a Research Fellow of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, formerly the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, a bioethical institute serving the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the eight years he spent with the Centre, Anthony contributed to submissions to the Government on major bioethical issues. He has written on such topics for national publications, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, and has argued the pro-life cause convincingly on Channel 4 News and the BBC.

Anthony is the author of a book entitled "Cloning and Stem Cell Research" and has helped to edit a range of other publications in the field of bioethics.

He has tutored in Philosophy at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham; Allen Hall seminary in Chelsea; Blackfriars, Oxford university; and Heythrop College, University of London. He has also given presentations at a European Parliament conference and to the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican.

Before his involvement with the Linacre Centre, Anthony worked for an independent media monitoring firm serving a variety of financial institutions, and as a civil servant for the Cabinet Office and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Responding to his appointment, Mr McCarthy told the media earlier today:
“I am delighted and honoured to be asked by SPUC to become their Education and Publications Manager. I have been writing and speaking on issues in sexual and reproductive ethics, as well as other life issues, for years and relish the opportunity to educate young people ready to cast off the tired nostrums of the sexual revolution and the various promoters of the culture of death.

“With more and more people looking for ways to combat contemporary willingness to kill the innocent and the reluctance in certain quarters to face reality, SPUC’s work remains as important as ever.  I look forward to joining colleagues in this work, and to using my background in ethics, research and communications in the hope of making the new post a crucial part of SPUC’s mission.”
Anthony's enormous expertise on sexual and reproductive ethics and the whole range of life issues will be invaluable in SPUC's outreach to young people. They are being targeted by the pro-abortion and birth control lobby as never before, not least at school. On the basis on sound reasoning, solid arguments and hard facts, we need to equip young people to resist the culture of death which surrounds them.

Anthony is uniquely well-qualified to help SPUC fulfil that educational mission. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has been sending trained volunteer speakers to secondary schools for over four decades. SPUC's educational research trust produces 'How You Began', an educational set of realistic, anatomically-correct foetal models, which have been used in schools, medical schools and universities for over 20 years. They were designed and manufactured under the expert guidance of a team of leading foetal authorities including obstetricians and gynaecologists, pathologists and other experts in anatomy and embryology.

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